Lakes of the Clouds Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Jackson, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,388 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Spectacular scenery and great ravine climb. The trail is generally level for the first 2 miles at which time you will arrive at the gem pool. The last mile is VERY steep. Only the last 3/10ths of a mile is very exposed to the wind but in inclement weather that can be too much! Please remember that this is not a good place to hike in the winter and that Mt Washington has claimed over 125 lives. If you must go, you must know what you are doing and how to save yourself.

hiking
washed out
2 days ago

G DTY

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

Parked at the cog lot. $10 bucks. Hiked up to the lake of clouds hut then up Mt. Monroe. About 5.6 miles and 4:40 minutes out and back. Temps were in the lower 30’s, beautiful sunny day, no wind. Very muddy for most of the trail. Ice on all rocks going across all river crossings ( there are a bunch) needed to use my micro spikes a few times, mostly near the top. The decent down the trail was hard. The rocks are so smooth you can’t grip them with your boots and your poles become useless because of the ice. Be prepared, wear the proper gear, and be wary of what time of day it is. Tried to tell a few people to not attempt to summit Washington up towards the hut. it’s a lot further then you think and you’ll never make it back down the trail before dark. I hope they listened.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

this trail is definitely one of my top tens. it was very challenging to follow the trail to the top because the trail would sometimes disappear and you would have to look for color markings to continue. I would not recommend this trail for beginners.

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

The hike up was more fun than I thought it'd be. It follows the river which cascades all the way down. Sometimes the path shares the same rocks as the waterfall. There are some very large flat rocks to scramble over and the trail is rocky like all trails we found in the White Mountains. About halfway up or more the view opens up to the valley and there are great views that way too. We hiked it on 8/1 and didn't have any bug problems and the weather was spectacular. The only complaint is the constant cog noise. I felt we had to hike a ways to get away from the sounds of city life. There is also a section almost to treeline where the spruce grow short where I guess a lot of people go the wrong way (us included) so keep your eyes out. There was a faint white mark we didn't see on the first pass. We stayed at Lakes of the Clouds Hut so we dropped our packs off there and hiked up to Mt. Washington with just a light sack.

bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
10 months ago

As other reviews stated, the trail has pretty minimal elevation gain until the pool, but right after passing it gets steep and rocky. I liked that the trail generally follows the Ammonoosuc River because there are little streams and waterfalls along the path, but the flip side is there were constantly bugs. There are good views above the tree line, and its nice that the trail ends right at the AMC hut so you can refill water or grab some food. Also nice that after hard hike up, its easy to walk around the pool between Mt. Washington and Mt. Monroe. Views are worth the effort, but descent on the trail is as much of a challenge as going up because of the unsure footing on the rocks. Definitely would be dangerous to do in winter because most of the trail after the pool is over rocks, boulders, and with a few little stream crossings.

hiking
no shade
rocky
10 months ago

Wonderful day for it. Minimal clouds as we rode our motorcycles to the summit. Not prepared for the weather I had to much gear on. Rocky but excellent. Steady pace we made it back up in about 1:40 minutes.

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

Sun May 26 2019

This trail is a combination of the Ammonoosuc and Crawford trail and is a total of 6 miles out and back (Apple Watch distance). The trail head is located to the right of the cog railroad museum. The first 2 miles is generally flat and hugs a river bend. After passing the water fall the trail gets very steep and at points you are walking up a small stream (maybe just from snow melt). The last quarter mile to the lake of the clouds hut was covered in deep snow, even on Memorial Day weekend! To make it to the top you have to rely on footprints rather than trail makers. The view of the mountain ranges was great from the hut. The lakes were underwhelming because they were still frozen. I would recommend brining hiking poles for the hike back down. I didn’t have them and I felt like I was skiing/ sledding until I got out of the snow. A lot of great views!

hiking
rocky
snow
Sun May 26 2019

Rating a 4 based on the views. Absolutely beautiful. The trail, out and back, is defiantly not 4.4 miles. More like 7 (as this is what my GPS, Applewatch recorded). Regardless it defiantly feels like 7. Moderate walk the first 2 miles, the last 2 miles are hard and steep. Would only recommend to bring your dog if they have high endurance. And please make sure your dog has hiking booties before you go as the terrain is very rough.

hiking
Mon Feb 18 2019

2019-02-18 - Great day to do it, Snow well pack. Below treeline, where is it really steep, it was hard to get a good foot hold. Up above treeline, very icy of course, you ll need them crampons and iceaxe if you go towards washington!

Sun Oct 07 2018

This was a very nice hike I would say 4.5 stars. To have the description say very steep is a bit much. We started at Ammanousac or however it is spelled and then hiked up to the lake of the clouds hut. Then went up Monroe which I highly recommend because the top is great and not that crowded. Then we hung at the lake a bit and went up to Washington then down the Jewell trail. The only reason this is getting 4 stars is the top of Washington is horrible. It's a big tourist trap and really stinks. The Jewell trail coming down was amazing and something you should definitely take. Great waterfalls on the trail, great leaf peeping. No real scrambling which was a bit of a disappointment. compared to Katahdin or the Hellbrook trail on Mansfield this was a breeze.

Sat Sep 29 2018

Amazing hike. Beautiful trail next to a river following upstream. Great views. We hiked through the clouds which was a great experience. Last 1.5 miles are super steep to a point that we had to go down on all 4 to make it. Last part took us almost 1.5h. Nothing for kids or dogs. Requires proper hiking boots and good stamina.

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